Are undisclosed friendships with the opposite sex OK while married?
I'm the husband in this situation and I'm asking this question about a friend that my wife has - but I do understand that it goes both ways - eg I'd expect that the same applies for a husband with a female friend.
So, Recently I found out that over the past several years my wife has been having coffees and lunches with a guy - from what I know 3 to 6ish meetings a year (as well as social media connectivity and chats).
Just coffees and lunches I believe - there is no sign of evening drinks or meals, or arrangements to meet privately or anything like that.
They do pay for each others meals/drinks.
The probablem is that I didnt know that this guy existed.
I know she has male friends that she catches up with but they are all either people that we both know or colleagues of hers.
This guy is neither.
She has total freedom and and up till now I've had total trust in her in our marriage - she travels alone for work, she goes on overnight work team building events occasionally, she has no restrictions on friends and goes out with her girlfriends to town etc, none of this I have ever minded or questioned.
But for some reason finding that she has this particular friend (who is about 15 years her senior) has really shaken me.
Like really really shaken me - I feel hurt and betrayed.
And I'm having a hard time getting over it (I do want to).
And yes there is jealousy involved - I am jealous that this unknown man has been buying my wife lunches.
She's told me that it's silly to react that way and that there is nothing in it.
She's said that couples she knows would just move on from something like this, and that it's totally acceptable and normal, and she's gotten really angry at me for questioning her loyalty (which sadly I did as I was so upset and concerned).
We have never discussed boundaries in our marriage previously, but for me this seems like an obvious breach of trust.
She has said she never knew I would mind these meetings which I find ridiculous as I feel that it goes without saying that a friendship like that is something you should make your husband or wife aware of.
So my simple question is - is this appropriate within marriage, is it normal? Is it ok to meet someone of the opposite sex for coffees/lunches when you are married when your husband or wife doesnt know about it or know the person that you are meeting?
It could be absolutely nothing! As you said, it sounds like the two of them are just catching up and not making a big habit out of seeing each other.
However, the fact that she's been hiding the friendship from you is highly concerning. Did she feel that her secret friendship would hurt you? Are there emotional entanglements she doesn't want to disclose?
I'm a firm believer that if you're not doing anything wrong, there's no need to hide something, and I don't blame you in the slightest for feeling hurt and betrayed.
Even if your wife isn't doing anything wrong with this man, the lie of omission speaks about her communication skills. Try and explain to her, calmly, WHY this makes you uncomfortable.
You can try and put her in your shoes by asking how she would feel if she found out you had been having secret lunches with another woman for years? Even though she claims you're being overly jealous, I'm guessing she would be highly suspicious of this situation if the roles were reversed.
Now that you have had a conversation about boundaries and how uncomfortable you feel with this man, I highly suggest you both focus on your communication skills. There's a useful article called " 20 Communication Games for Fixing Bad Communication in Your Marriage " that I think you should both take a look at.